Wednesday, October 27, 2010

LEGO Toy Organization

I am a HUGE organizer. Can you say organizer addict?!? I organize EVERYTHING, from my kitchen pantry....as seen here. To my closets, cupboards, DVDs....as seen here. The list goes on. I like things to be organized and in order. This keeps me sane, and with a busy schedule like mine, I need all the help I can get. :)

Toy organization is something I pride myself in. My kids do a pretty good job at keeping their stuff organized, as I have had a system for them since basically birth for most of their toys. There is a spot for everything, so they know where to put it (the preschool or kindergarten theory...everything has a home).

But LEGO's have been a thorn in my side. My boys are LEGO crazed & LOVE them. And up until now, I have not really organized them, but basically kept them all together in a few bins. The problem with this system is they are constantly digging through the bins & can NEVER find the pieces they are looking for. This also makes putting together the "sets" they have a real challenge. I don't mind helping them put sets together, but when it takes FOREVER to find all the pieces to a set, that is something I don't LOVE. Now that they have a substantial collection of LEGO's. I thought now would be the time to get a system down. Especially with Christmas lurking & them having several LEGO sets on their lists!

I did some research and found lots of ideas for LEGO organization & storage. Luckily, I am not the only Mom with this problem.
Here is some of the resources I found helpful!

1. Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories shows us how to stack Lego's for storage. Check it out here.

2. Another Mom with the growing LEGO dilemma. Check it out here.

3. Here is another cool LEGO storage table you can DIY. Check it out here.

4. Here are a BUNCH of different options to store your LEGO collections. Check it out here.

5. This is REALLY cool. I would definitely invest in something like this, just for the sorting factor alone. It's called a BOX4BLOX...check it out here.

6. Here is yet another LEGO table you can DIY from Ikea Hacker. Check it out here.

7. My NEW FAVORITE SOLUTION: Ty from over at Brik Crate has a FABULOUS solution. A compact wall storage unit with fold down table. You have to check it out here. It could be painted & blend into any room. What a clever idea! They also have a ton of tips on organizing as well. Definately take time & go check them out!

So here is what our current situation looks like:


I decided to sort by color, and to some extent the type of brick/piece.
I started out by picking up this 7 drawer Sterlite bin at Walmart.

Then I started sorting bricks. This took some time, but I had help from the boys!
*This is another TIP...if you include your kids in sorting their toys & setting up the system, it makes them feel a sense of accomplishment. And they are more likely to follow through with upkeep of the system you put in place! Especially when they can find what they are looking for!

I just used some shoe storage boxes I had to sort the bricks out. I put like colors together & sorted into these categories: Black/White, Red/Orange/Yellow, Green/Blue, Brown/Tan, Gray/Dark Gray, Wheels, Mini Figs (people), and super small pieces & unique pieces. I have to say this was my least favorite part of this job. Only because it took so long!
Then I found some these cool FREE down loadable labels. This is to label each drawer so they know what's in them.

Labels are courtesy of Mrs. Jones. Check them out here.
I printed them out on white card stock and cut them out. I just taped them to the fronts of the drawers using clear packing tape.

Then I just dumped the shoe boxes in each drawer.


Manuals/instructions went in the top drawer.










The mini figs, super small pieces & unique parts went into a clear divided bead storage box (from Walmart in the jewelry section). I wanted to be able to separate these pieces since they are so little.


Here is the LEGO area of my son's room. The table was a UNBELIEVABLE find from the Winona Shares Free site (Basically a Craigslist type site, only everything on it is FREE). Check it out here if you are in the Winona, MN area (a great source for us thrifty types). A guy was just giving it away. He had made it for his 2 boys & they had grown out of it. He built this like 15 years ago, before activity/train type tables were even around...I would say he was ahead of his time! :) I called & snatched it up the moment I saw it listed (Thanks Mom for letting me know about it!) My boys just LOVE it. It is basically a coffee table, with a hole cut out of it (routed nicely). He mounted a basket under it for quick clean up. And mounted the base plates on the top as well. This table gets a lot of use at our house.


The 2 green stools are from IKEA. I picked them up on clearance last year.

So that sums up the LEGO organization corner of our house.

Do you have any cool ways you organize/store your LEGO's or other toys? I would LOVE to hear about them. I am always on the look out for new organizational ideas!

Enjoy!!!


I am linking up to these FABULOUS Parties:

11 comments:

  1. Michelle my son is 12 and has been a Legomaniac for about 4 years now. He eats, sleeps and breaths Lego's. We purchased the same compartments for him to store his in instead of all over his toy room or the pool table.
    However your's is soooo much more organized. Looks like I'll be putting the label maker to good use. Thanks for idea.

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  2. I love the cosmetics of your storage solution. We have four boys, and struggled early on with the same things.
    The trouble is the pretty storage method does not get to the root of the Lego problem. Kids still can't find the pieces they are looking for with any ease, and forget about rebuilding that 700 peice set from three Christmases ago.
    After much deliberation we came up with the same solution aldult fans of Lego have used forever... sort by type and function and let your eyes pick out the particular color. Of course this requires A LOT more detailed sorting and more storage drawers, but once done, the toys become a catalyst for sheer genius.
    In full disclosure, so much did we (I) consume ourselves in this that we have started a hopeful business http://www.brikcrate.com that produces compact cabinets with fold-down tables, and more importantly thorough, color-coded label kits for the drawers (480 labels) which can be purchased separately for DIYers. This might not be a money maker, but for the crazies out there like me, it has paid off bigtime in our own home and the homes of friends who've let us pawn demo tables on!

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  3. Awesome! I've got a 5 yr. old who is just entering the land of lego - I, too, like to be as organized as possible and this looks like a great solution! :)

    ~h

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  4. I LOVED this so much, I did this today after I found it on your blog. It is an amazing idea. More than worth the $26.00 I paid for the organizer. I had my little guy help me and he loves it too. No more legos in the floor!!! I can run the sweeper in his room without being afraid of it inhaling a preciouse lego piece. Thank you for the amazing idea!!!

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  5. Love this! My 5 year old is just getting into the Lego sets and I've been wondering how to keep them contained/organized (also have a 9 mo. old who I need to keep them away from which is hard b/c he wants to be in the middle of whatever his big brother is doing!).

    He had 2 large sets on his Christmas list so I'm thinking after his birthday (dec. 13) and christmas we'll be putting your awesome system to good use!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Thanks for the link! I love your project! One of the gifts I gave my boys for Christmas was a big Lego organizer. It has six drawers and each one is it's own Lego carrying case, in Lego colors. We also got some bigger storage bins. Each one came with a large Lego base piece in the bottom. I bought everything at Meijer and each bin was $7.99.

    Our problem is that once my boys build things they want to keep them together to play with them. So, we don't have tons of loose Lego pieces. We have tons of finished projects!

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  7. WOW!! What a sight to behold!! Makes me giddy to see things sooo organized! JOB WELL DONE!!

    Amy
    www.notjustteach.blogspot.com

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  8. Brilliant! I saw your link at abowlfulloflemons. Since I havn't done this challenge yet, I'm planning to write a post tomorrow to feature some of my favorites toy room makeovers from the link party. This is going on there for sure. Thanks for a great idea!

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  9. Love the idea and will definitely pass it on to my sister who has a 6-year old LEGO fanatic. If people are looking for "on-the-go" LEGO storage and bags in general, check out www.legobags.com. The company I work for makes bags for LEGO.

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  10. Sorting by color may be pretty, but isn't so practical. Children, for the most part, want to try and keep pieces that go together, well together. I believe that trying to keep the sets together as much as possible is the best thing. If a child wants to put that 500 piece lego set back together, than the majority of the pieces will be nearby.
    Work with your children and ask them how they may want them organized. Give them ideas Star
    Wars w/ star wars etc...
    It's very hard on the eyes to see the shape of a lego when looking into a bin of legos w/ only one or two colors. It's easier to see a shape if colors are mixed together.
    This system may be appealing to some moms, but not to a little lego fan. Sorry

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  11. Oh.my.goodness! I just stumbled across this, and feel horrible for never writing a note to say thank you for the mention! I was working, going to school and dealing with a chronic illness and let everything go. I'm so glad you were able to use the labels, and I hope it's still working for you!

    ~Heather

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Thanks for the LOVE! I so enjoy hearing what you all have to say!